Summer may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Fall doesn’t officially start until September 21, but there’s some great local businesses offering fun, seasonal activities in the weeks ahead. It’s a bit early for pumpkin patches, but you can get your first taste of the season with some great events. And the good news? Covid-19 isn’t squashing any of them. Just make sure you review policies before you head out, as many events require pre-registration and have adjusted their rules due to state regulations.
From harvest festivals to cider mills, here’s a quick round-up of things to do near Groton:
Season Opening at Clyde’s Cider Mill, Mystic
If you missed it, Clyde’s Cider Mill quietly opened early for the season last weekend! If you’re new around here, Clyde’s is a local legend and the oldest steam powered cider mill in the United States. The mill produces cider, hard ciders and apple wines, as well as jams, jellies, pumpkin bread and their infamous cider donuts. Their shop also sells local honeys, maple syrups, fudge and other treats. The property offers free wine tasting and cider making demonstrations on the weekends. For the latest updates, be sure to follow their Facebook page.
Wine & Cider Barn & Corn Maze at Holmberg Orchard, Gales Ferry
Holmberg Orchards quietly opened their 2020 Corn Maze for the season on August 21! Masks are always mandatory inside the Farm Market but can removed while picking if you are a safe distance from others. Per the CT Department of Agriculture, there are no eating or sampling in the field.
The Wine & Cider Barn is also open for the season, Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm-5pm. While indoor tastings are suspended, visitors can grab a can of cider, glass of wine or a flight of any four products to bring outside and enjoy in their seating areas. With Covid-19, Holmberg is open to the public but still offers curbside or in-store pickup. For the latest updates, be sure to follow their Facebook.
Frightening Fall Downtown Mystic Ghost Strolls, Mystic
Get into the spirit of Halloween early with Seaside Shadows Haunted History Tours! On Thursday, Sept. 3, 7pm-8:45pm, enjoy a historic and ghostly walking tour through downtown Mystic. Cross the historic drawbridge and learn true stories and dark tales of mystery, with evidence of paranormal phenomena. The beautiful seaside town is filled with lore and tales that are sure to send a chill up your spine. The tours are two hours long and hosted every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday thru September, with more dates scheduled in October. Tickets can be purchased online for $20.
Pick-Your-Own Apples & Corn Maze at Scott’s Yankee, East Lyme
Beginning Saturday, Sept. 5, Scott’s Yankee Farmer will host their annual apple picking season. Reservations are required on the weekends and holidays ($5 per group up to five), and can be made on the website starting tomorrow, Sept. 1. Explore the orchard and farm, and don’t miss their roadside market with fresh produce and treats (Apple Cinnamon Donuts on the weekends). For the latest farm updates, follow their Facebook page.
Fall Flea Market at Sweet Hill Farm, Gales Ferry
On Saturday, Sept. 12 from 10am-4pm, over 20 small businesses, local artists, crafters and vendors will participate in the “Fall Flea Market” at Sweet Hill Farm in Gales Ferry. The open, 18-acre small farm also offers treats from Pop’s Ice Cream, farm animals, grab ‘n’ go gourmet food, gifts and a picnic pavilion. Similar flea markets will also be hosted Oct 3 and Nov.14. For more information, click here.
Farm to Village at Olde Mistick Village, Mystic
Over the weekend of Sept. 19-20 Olde Mistick Village will host their first “Farm to Village” festival with over a dozen regional vendors selling fresh produce, garlic, spices, syrups, baked goods and more! While you are at the village, support local businesses and explore the unique boutiques and eateries.
Harvest Food & Wine Festival at Stonington Vineyards, Stonington
Over the weekend of Sept. 19-20, Stonington Vineyards is hosting their annual Harvest Food & Wine Festival, 11am-6pm daily. In compliance with Covid-19 regulations, the offerings are outdoor only. Attendees may bring their own tents (10’x10′), pop-ups, tables, chairs, or blankets, as none will be provided. Outside food is welcome, but no outside alcohol. Tickets are on sale now and must be purchased in advance ($25). Tickets include a glass of wine of your choice, a keepsake glass, live music and access to event amenities. Food will be available for purchase from onsite vendors including Black Dahlia Baking Co., Bridge Market Pizza, Rustric Streats and Spicy Fusion. Children are free with parent, but due to social distancing rules they cannot be running or roaming free around the property. Groups cannot exceed 15 people per party. For more details, click here.
Fall Family Fun at Buttonwood Farm, Griswold
Beginning Sept. 21, Buttonwood Farm is bringing back all the fall fun! Get lost in their 7 acre+ corn maze, hop on a hayride, visit farm animals and pick pumpkins from their fields. Kids can have fun with the Cow Train, duck races, straw bale mountain and corn pit, as well. Field trips are welcome and group rates are available. For more details, click here.
Outdoor Pumpkin Paint & Sip at Outer Light Brewing Co., Groton
Painted By The Shore is hosting a fun fall workshop on Tuesday, September 29 from 6-8pm at their newest venue, Outer Light Brewing Company! Gather your loved ones for a paint and sip party, with a pick-your-pattern faux pumpkin design. Your $39 ticket includes all materials and instruction, as well as a pint of beer. Additional drinks are available for purchase. For more details, click here.